(artwork by Myra Ball)

“give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

On Thanksgiving Day (25 November 2021) let’s just pause for a moment and consider Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving as such is not ‘our’ festival here in Scotland but giving thanks should not be restricted only to one nation, continent, or group of people. Giving thanks is good, important, and it is God’s will and purpose for us in Jesus Christ.

This is the first place to pause! Wow, have you realised that giving thanks is not just an optional manifestation of politeness or good upbringing? It is the WILL of God Almighty for every Christian! In the light of this, let’s just explore our thankfulness and gratitude for a moment! Am I thankful in all circumstances? Do I receive gifts, deeds, comments from others with a thankful spirit? I personally find it extremely encouraging to know that when I am thankful to someone I am actually obeying God and fulfilling His will for me!

Reading the Bible, I am sure you also noticed that it often encourages us to keep count of God’s good deeds, to remember them, to give thanks repeatedly to Him for His gifts, to give thanks abundantly, in all circumstances, and without ceasing. How good it is when someone is not holding back their thankfulness to us! It’s great isn’t it! How important it is to learn saying ‘Please’ and ‘thank You’ when we are very young!

When we give thanks for a good deed or a gift, our hearts respond to the heart of the giver, let that be God, Jesus, or our neighbour!

When someone is thankful to me that encourages me to do another good deed. Thanksgiving is energising me. I know of someone who works with children with learning difficulties. The work is demanding and exhausting yet she would not work anywhere else for all day long she is among thankful smiles.

A thankful person realises how rich they are. The ones who are never satisfied see only what they do not have. The thankful ones see all that they have, and in their prayer of thanksgiving they keep stock of those blessings.

Our expression of thankfulness is a joyful and powerful testimony about our great and loving God. It tells others that God is a rich, powerful, gracious, loving Father, who can be trusted and relied on. His children know all that they have comes from His abundant grace.

Such thankfulness protects us from anxiety. In our faith we look upon God with great anticipation every day, for His mercies are new every morning. Therefore, the believer trusts God and Jesus Christ even in times of trouble and trials and gives thanks for His faithfulness.

As we approach the end of another challenging year, count your blessings, the undeniable evidence of God’s favour and love to you. Prepare for Christmas with a grateful heart!

[from GV; artwork by Myra Ball]

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